Stakeholders have hailed the House of Representatives after it summoned the Nigeria Football Federation to appear before it on Thursday, The PUNCH reports.
The move comes after The PUNCH’s report of June 7, 2023, titled ‘Falcons plan protest, World Cup boycott as NFF cancels bonuses.’
The report exposed the rift between the Super Falcons players, who are currently in Australia preparing for the Women’s World Cup, and the federation, after the General Secretary of the NFF Dr Mohammed Sanusi told them their match bonuses for the competition had been cancelled by the federation.
In a resolution at plenary following a motion by Hon. Olumide Osoba, the House said it would set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the dispute between the Falcons and the NFF and propose necessary reforms to prevent the planned protest and boycott of the team at the Women’s World Cup.
Former chairman of Gombe FA, Shuaib Gara-Gombe, believes the action by the House would make sporting federations treat their athletes the right way.
“It’s a good step (by the House) but I hope they will see to the end of this issue regarding the Falcons and other aspects of our sports, not just football. This could chart a new cause for Nigerian sports, that all federations will ensure they do the right thing as they will now know that they are monitored.”
General Secretary, National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers, Austin Popo, added, “Ordinarily, if the NFF handled things in the right manner, it will not get to this level. I think the House move is good, since things have now gotten to the stage of a potential protest. It is going to take some time to address some of these matters, but I am sure it will help if they put everyone in sports in focus.”
Former Super Falcons star and Olympic gold medalist, Chioma Ajunwa, slammed the federation after the House waded into the crisis.
“I don’t think it’s a good omen for NFF to be dragged to the House of Representatives over their inability to pay the Super Falcons their match bonuses and allowances. What the NFF is doing now to the Falcons is shameful,” Ajunwa told The PUNCH.
Veteran journalist Mitchell Obi said the lawmakers should not stop at the meeting with the NFF officials, adding that they should figure out a solution for the welfare of the country’s athletes.
“They are right to find out what is happening, they should find out what happened with their (Falcons) payment and why they want to protest. They can even go beyond that and ensure that people who represent the country are well looked after. It is not easy to represent the country, so, if they are to represent the country well, the details of their welfare must be well taken care of,” Obi told The PUNCH.